26 May 2015

Business & Brains

Just updating slews of previous posts. As the old saying doesn’t go, everything new is old again:

Why all over 50s should start a business
By Jamie Dunn
There are so many factors as to why being over 50 can be a huge advantage when entering into the world of business and entrepreneurship.  Here's just a few of them...
Well, maybe not all of us.  Then we wouldn’t be able to hire ourselves – along with most other age and ethnic groups.  I’m all for diversity:
06 July 2011 Diversity = Productivity Redux
29 May 2013 Intergenerational Teams A Strength
The baby boomer business boom
Turn 55 and you become invisible, according to traditional marketing lore – ads for funeral plans and continence aids notwithstanding – but has that begun to change as the baby boomer cohort moves into the golden years?  Yes, says marketing commentator Adam Ferrier who believes a youth dominated marketing and advertising industry has missed a big mark in the past.
I should reference everything I’ve posted here for the last twelve years.  Or, try this:

Human Resources/Brain Power

And there’s this:

More Older Adults Are Becoming Inventors
… Whether as volunteers or for profit, older inventors like Mr. Nepper are riding a rising tide of American innovation.
Only a few posts ago I (sadly) posted about brains:
17 April 2015 Barbara Strauch: 1951-2015… In 2010, Ms. Strauch published “The Secret Life of the Grown-up Brain: The Surprising Talents of the Middle-Aged Mind,” which concluded that certain cognitive functions peak fairly late, when people are in their 60s.
Along with forgetting where you left your keys, there’s now more:
Brain and behavior are modifiable, even as we get older By Marilynn Larkin
Research on cognitive plasticity overturns stereotypes of aging and suggests human development isn’t cast in stone … It seems the more information we gather about a given field or domain, the more likely we are to maintain competence in that area because the brain develops strategies to do so …
Sometimes I forget where I’ve left all my posts on this subject.  And I often forget that I’ve already linked to something earlier in a post:
Human Resources/Brain Power
Maybe more brain games’ll help.  Or I’ve forgotten that maybe they won’t:
For an Aging Brain, Looking for Ways to Keep Memory Sharp By Jane E. Brody

05 May 2015

Sounds Vaguely Familiar…

A handful of familiars:  

Boomers Flock to Niche Retirement Communities
by Daniel Bortz
Stargazers, equestrians, and hippies find like-minded friends and age together.

http://www.usnews.com/static/images/homepage-logo.pngRetirement communities aren't just geared toward golfers and pool loungers anymore. Niche retirement communities are on the rise… "Retirees want more choices," Carle explains. "When you have 78 million baby boomers, they have a lot of expectations with retirement."

How Baby Boomers Are Creating Their Own Retirement Communities
by Teresa Mears

From my book Advertising to Baby Boomers © 2005, 2007:

book excerpt

Also culled from the book, and a PDF download:

Chapter Four: Give Boomers Room for Choices
….When developing or molding a community for Baby Boomers, start with the concept of ―neutral. Do not confuse this with ―sameness. For example, when designing an indoor community space, do not assume that it will be used mostly for Bingo. Fashion it with flexibility so that it may be used for almost anything...

The Name Game:

Redefining Senior Living For Boomers Through The NameStorm Project

From my book ©2005, 2007:

… The common term used for such places is “Planned Communities.” However, when presenting planned communities to the public, Baby Boomers could wince at the concept. You know it’s planned, we know it’s planned (What else could it be?)—but “planned” may sound too restrictive to Boomers. We don’t like the idea of anything planned. We want to do it ourselves, construct our own lives. Let us sustain the illusion, or a partial illusion: communities are not planned. We do not want to live in prefab theme parks …

Twitterdum & Twitterdee:

Twitter at the Crossroads
by David Auerbach
image… Twitter as we know it is over. While the early release of ugly revenue numbers sent the company’s stock spiraling Tuesday, the actual quarterly earnings report that followed that afternoon was even worse.

From September 2012:

Twitter & Advertising
Twitter is a fascinating phenomenon, has worldwide cultural and political influence … and will be around for quite some time.

But it is not an advertising platform. How Twitter will eventually support itself, who knows.  Maybe some sort of underwriting.

The mobile/social media soothsayers will have you believe that there is this unknown, magical mode of persuasion that has never been thought of before – and will reveal itself any day now. 

If you believe that, I have a Blackberry in Brooklyn I want to sell you.

From NPR:

For Advertisers, Baby Boomers Are A Market Hiding In Plain Sight
NPRBaby boomers account for about half of all consumer spending, yet only 10 percent of marketing dollars are aimed their way.

What to link to?  Everything I’ve been screaming about for years and years (as have others).

17 April 2015

Barbara Strauch: 1951-2015

Barbara Strauch, 63, Science and Health Editor at The Times and Author, Dies
… In 2010, Ms. Strauch published “The Secret Life of the Grown-up Brain: The Surprising Talents of the Middle-Aged Mind,” which concluded that certain cognitive functions peak fairly late, when people are in their 60s.

Sad news. I was thoroughly impressed with The Secret Life of the Grown-up Brain and blogged it a bunch of times. Follow the links below for more info – along with an NPR interview with Ms. Strauch:

03 January 2010
2010: The Year of The Baby Boomer Brain
Not that the last few years haven’t had plenty of neurons bouncing about and flashing all sorts of surprising info about middle-aged noggins…

16 April 2010
The Secret Life of the Grown-Up Brain
… Ms. Strauch talks about “creating a disorienting dilemma” and “shaking up the cognitive egg” to get our attention – not something usually done when advertising to Baby Boomers. Most ads pander and lull us to sleep.

07 May 2010
Memo to H.R: Older Brains = Smarter Brains
… A new book makes the case that our brains can age as well as a vintage French burgundy; many of our most important cognitive functions actually improve with age …

09 April 2015

Chasing the grey yen

The Economist has a good piece about marketing to the 50+:

imageChasing the grey yen
Japanese firms have wisdom to hand down about selling to the elderly
Apr 11th 2015 | TOKYO
… Some companies, such as Wacoal, have created separate brands and marketing campaigns for their new products designed for older consumers, so as to avoid damaging the “young” image of their main brand. However, Florian Kohlbacher, co-editor of “The Silver Market Phenomenon”, a marketing handbook, argues that it is often better, instead of creating separate products just for the old, to design ones that bridge the generations.

The Silver Market Phenomenon.  I know that book.  In fact, I wrote a chapter in it:

The Silver Market Phenomenon 2nd Edition Released
… I contributed, updating the 2nd Edition with lots of new material – as have the other contributors (along with nine  new chapters/contributors).

Dick Stroud also produced an excellent chapter.

More from The Economist:

… In the end, says Mr Kohlbacher, all managers will have to find ways to market to the old without either offending them or putting off younger consumers. They might start by actually talking to the elderly, who have more experience of shopping, after all, than anyone else.

Just for fun:

huffington_post_logo1I Have The Wrong Wrinkles
by Chuck Nyren
… There they were. One way over on the side, another under my chin, another near my left ear. Wrinkles that weren't mine.

19 March 2015

Folks Catching Up

It’s not a race.  If it is, I’ve been slogging around the track for 12 years.  Slogging and blogging. I didn’t think it would take this long for folks to catch up:

Marketing to Millennials and Baby Boomers
by Mark Thomas, Michigan State University Extension
Michigan State University Extension educators and the MSU Product Center assist aspiring and existing entrepreneurs to develop targeted and focused business marketing plans.

CVRCompHmm. Teaching advertising to baby boomers in colleges and universities…

01 July 2005
Book News: Advertising to Baby Boomers selected by AEF
The Advertising Educational Foundation has selected Advertising to Baby Boomers as a Classroom Resource.

Baby Boomers Are Now Twice as Likely to Start a Company as Millennials

Baby Boomers Flock to Entrepreneurship
Even though they're nearing retirement age, a large number of baby boomers are looking for an "encore" career as entrepreneurs.

From the Introduction for Advertising to Baby Boomers © 2005/2007:

Advertising to Baby Boomers is for anybody with a marketing or product idea, yet to be realized or about to come to market. Venture capitalists take heed: the largest demographic of entrepreneurs are over forty, the largest consumer demographic the same. Baby Boomers will soon be marketing to themselves again, after a hiatus of twenty-odd years.

And here:

Entrepreneurs & Baby Boomers
… I’ve found that there are two mistakes made by almost every entrepreneur targeting this unwieldy, diverse market.

Why baby boomers are poised to revive the economy
image… As people are living longer and in better health, they’re working longer, too. And opportunities for the 55 and up group are going way beyond the stereotypical part-time gig at the local supermarket, he says.

Sounds familiar…

31 May 2009
Boomers key to economic recovery
… What do you buy? Almost everything.  Clothes, appliances, computers, toothpaste.  The list is endless.  Regular, ol’ stuff.  Stuff almost exclusively marketed to twentysomethings with ad campaigns that don’t resonate with middle-aged consumers.

Older Really Can Mean Wiser
By Benedict Carey March 16, 2015
image… People who are middle-aged and older tend to know more than young adults, by virtue of having been around longer, and score higher on vocabulary tests, crossword puzzles and other measures of so-called crystallized intelligence.

At my age the memory fails, but I think I’ve heard this before…

Human Resources/Brain Power Posts

If it’s not a race, why do I keep looking over my shoulder?  I hope they catch up soon.  My neck is getting sore.